Long term organic growth - The Brand Vision

by os_admin

A common problem in organic growth is a focus on short term results. Often, insufficient time, people and money resources are allocated to longer term developments. A proven way to address this shortfall is with a simple tool called Brand Vision and a planning tool called LEAP (Long Term Equity Action Plan).

The word “vision” sometimes conjures up thoughts of an airy wish list without substance or planning support. But that doesn’t have to be the case. Whether in consumer or business marketing, Brand Vision is a simple document that states where the brand will be in 5 years time. The statement can set out an objective (in words) but should also have a goal (in numbers). A good formula for a Brand Vision statement includes:

    • Context: what is the world the brand competes in going to be like over the next 5 years; what are the key trends?
    • Domain: where will the brand compete for growth; often the definition of the domain is the opportunity to create a larger playing field. For example, Crest brand changed its domain from toothpaste to oral health, allowing for a major business expansion. Similarly many business marketers have added services to their core products in order to define their domain as a solution space rather than merely a product space.
    • Objective: a definition of the brand’s ambition for size, growth, consumer credibility, salience - whatever is the most powerful to energize the company.
      Goal: a scaling of the objective to a measurable numerical target: to be number one, to be twice the revenue size, etc.
    • Consumer or Customer: to achieve the objective and to reach the goal, what is the definition of the consumer / customer partner who will take the brand there? This can be a segment, a channel or any other choiceful definition of the consumers and customers who will provide the source of growth.

Need: What is the need of these consumers and customers that the brand will meet better than any competitor? Defining the need in high level terms focuses the organization on what it must do for consumers and customers to meet the objective and achieve the goal.

    • Reason To Believe: What are the proof-points that substantiate the claims made by the brand in meeting the consumer or customer needs. Strong support points help the brand to gain credibility and also define a development and innovation focus for the future.


The Brand Vision is a simple statement on one page suitable for circulation to all employees and business partners. In turn, it drives the LEAP, the long term equity action plan. This is a 5 year plan to achieve the vision. It breaks the goal down into a small number of imperatives (the short list of things the business must do to fulfill the vision) and initiatives (specific actions to achieve the imperatives), each of which has a detailed set of metrics. We’ll write more about this 5 year planning tool in a subsequent posting.

With a Brand Vision and LEAP, properly formulated and actively used as a management tool, organic growth in the long term can be as well resourced and as tightly managed as the immediate results in the monthly, quarterly and annual plans.